Students and teachers from 20 junior and senior high schools in Hanoi gathered at a workshop on November 26 to share their opinions on how to build safe, accountable and child-friendly schools.

The event, as part of a three-year initiative which aims at protecting adolescent girls aged 11 – 18 from violence at school, was co-hosted by the non-governmental organisation Plan Vietnam and the municipal Department of Education and Training.

Coordinator of the project Trinh Thi Mai Anh said since 2013, the programme has been implemented at 20 secondary schools in Hanoi, equipping teachers and students with necessary knowledge, skills to improve gender equality and minimise violent behaviour.

A six-grade schoolgirl shared via the project, her school held a meaningful fair, enabling students to express their anti-violence messages through creative handmade products.

In a poll of 3,000 Hanoi’s students, 80 percent of the participants said they experienced gender-based violence at school at least once in their lifetime. Among those victims, 73 percent suffered from mental harassment, 41 percent were physically assaulted, and 19 percent got involved in sexual abuse cases.

The issues are attributable to remnants of a male chauvinist society and gender stereotype. Besides, weak management and protection for the victims from school’s administrative board, parents and media coverage also make the problem worse.-VNA